Written By: AJ Hoffman
The first half of 2011 has given Houston one of it’s best starts to a year of all time. I thought it would be a good time to run through and hand out some mid-season awards. While a lot of guys have been good, someone has to be the asshole that says this was “the best”. So without further ado, I will be that asshole.
Moore, Bronzoulis and Melancon sign with Strikeforce.
We have all been waiting for the next guy from Houston to make it to the next level. Instead, we got three guys. And even though Moore was the only one who walked out of Dallas with a win, all represented well and will likely get another shot with the promotion.
Honorable Mention– Adam Schindler is part of Bellator Summer Series Featherweight Tournament.
Casey Hobson passes away.
Houston lost one of its most likable fighters with the death of 22 year old Casey Hobson to a brain injury. His funeral brought out a huge showing from the Houston scene, and he has been recognized by multiple fighters and organizations.
Honorable Mention– IXFA closing up shop in Houston.
BEST PRO CARD
Legacy gave us arguably their best card to date with their January offering. My favorite thing about it was the fact that Legacy brought in some of the best fighters to Dallas to put up against our best, and Houston really proved that our scene may be the best in Texas.
Honorable Mention– IXFA 6
BEST AMATEUR CARD
So I guess technically this didn’t happen til July 1st, so it would be a second half fight. But this is my list with my rules. There wasn’t a dog fight on the card. Probably the best amateur show I have seen in Houston, topped off by the epic war between David Armas and Andrew Musquiz.
Honorable Mention– Legacy Amateur Series (May 14th)
Bob Perez and Jennifer Josey Wedding
Anytime you get a wedding inside a cage, it makes for a pretty cool night. In a venue where gym loyalty usually starts fights, it was an event that brought everyone in the crowd together.
Honorable Mention – Tony Orozco makes his MMA debut.
HEAD SCRATCHING MOMENT
Judging has been a big point of debate this year and the biggest moment to date for a Houston fighter this year was marred by bad judging once again. Melancon dropped a split decision to Isaac Vallie-Flagg despite controlling most of the fight and taking no damage.
Honorable Mention – David Armas vs. Manny Lozoya ending
BEST RING CARD GIRL
Brittany has worked every single event that I have been to this year. Plus she is fun to look at.
Honorable Mention – Jenna Johnson
BEST AMATEUR KNOCKOUT
Luis landed a head kick less than a minute into the fight that knocked Brandon Boyd out cold.
Honorable Mention– Nathan Flack vs. Daniel Everitt
BEST PRO KNOCKOUT
Angel Huerta put on a striking clinic that ended with a vicious head kick knockout. The strangest part was Angel telling me after the fight he was disappointed in his performance.
BEST AMATEUR SUBMISSION
Evert Gutierrez vs. Corey Allmand
In what was expected by most to be a back and forth fight Gutierrez rocked Allmand early and took his back. He locked on a body triangle and slapped a rear naked choke to get the first round submission.
Honorable Mention – Aaron Croon vs. James Gonzalez
BEST PRO SUBMISSION
Pappas went for a single leg take down and Ledet locked up a guillotine that forced a tap at just :26 seconds into the fight. Ledet announced himself as a force to be reckoned with at 205 that night in Winnie.
BEST AMATEUR FIGHT
Joe Trevino vs. Jacob Silva
Unfortunately marred by the crowd’s displeasure with the decision, this fight went back and forth before Trevino took the split decision victory. A great fight that appears to have jump started Jacob Silva’s career, as he just took the Garcia Promotions Flyweight Title.
Honorable Mention – John Hayden vs. Alex Fernandez
BEST PRO FIGHT
Both guys took it, both guys dished it out. This was one of the most exciting fights I have ever seen with several near finishes. Both guys worked out of some VERY dangerous situations en route to a Rexroad unanimous decision victory.
BEST AMATEUR ROOKIE
Tony Orozco, Jr.
“Lil’ Tony” has gone 3-0 over the last 6 months, and it is hard to say which of the three is most impressive. His prom night decimation of Angel Zamora ranks highly, but his most recent tussle with Randy McCullough saw how poised he is with his back against the wall at only 17 years old.
Honorable Mention – Chris “Chop” Rucker
BEST PRO ROOKIE
While we have only seen him once as a pro, it was enough to convince me that Williams is a guy to watch down the road. He tossed around a very good fighter in Gerzan Chaw on his way to a victory at IXFA in Winnie.
Honorable Mention – Pat Bierschwale
BEST AMATEUR FIGHTER
Wright has moved his record to a perfect 5-0, taking on top competition both locally and outside the state. Wright can’t be far from getting paid to fight at this point.
Honorable Mention – G Moreira
BEST PRO FIGHTER
Pineda has earned this in less than 4 minutes of work in the cage. He was dominant in both his fights, at two weight classes, against top competition. Pineda could very well be the next guy to take the step up to the next level.
Honorable Mention – Andrew Craig
OK, so now for the disclaimer. I already know that this will piss some people off, but it is just one man’s opinion. I welcome your feedback, as always.